By Will Willems
One of the best players to ever don the Zionsville Eagles basketball uniform is closing in on yet another coaching milestone.
Butler head coach Brad Stevens, who holds five Zionsville records, including career points (1,508), assists (444) and steals (156), is closing in on Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon’s mark for most career wins through first six years of coaching.
Stevens, in his sixth season at the helm for Butler, holds the record for most wins after a coaches’ third, fourth and fifth seasons. He has a record of 161-47 at press time, just two wins shy of tying Dixon’s mark.
He is second on the list now, tied with Everett A. Case. Ironically, Frankfort’s Case Arena, which is named for the former N.C. State coach, was the location of Stevens’ final game as an Eagle.
“Really I look at it as being 13 years since I came to Butler,” Stevens said in a phone interview last week. “It is amazing how quickly it has gone. There have been lots of good things that have happened.”
By now most everyone knows the main story of Stevens, who left a marketing job at Eli Lilly and Company to become an unpaid assistant at Butler, before moving up the ranks to lead the Bulldogs to back-to-back national championship game appearances in 2010 and 2011.
So what would the reaction of an 18-year-old Stevens be if told that 19 years later he would become one of the top college basketball coaches in the country? Confused for starters.